Remote Lean Training? The Wordpoint Game

It's been about a year now since the term social distancing has become part of our daily lexicon. 

The big question for lean training is, are there any lean games that can be facilitated remotely? Some pen and paper games like the 5S Numbers Game and Standard Pig can be modified to be used over a video call, but few games are designed specifically to be used in MS Teams, Skype or Zoom.

One remote training game I came across recently is called the Wordpoint game, created by Boris Glogner, who also created the Ball Point Game. The rules are in German, but it seems simple enough to understand, with the help of some Google translation.

The idea is that participants in the call attempt to spell out words using body language or hand signals. Each person is responsible for one letter, and you should be able to "read" a word by looking at the participants in a row on the video.

Wordpoint Game flow:

  • There are 4 rounds, 60 seconds each. 
  • Each round, the participants attempt to spell as many words as possible, within the 60 seconds. 
  • Someone takes a screenshot of each successful word. 
  • Between each round, there's a 60 second break to discuss what happened, and plan or create a procedure for the next round. 

A pdf. of the rules can be found here:

 WordpointGame.pdf (

Here's a rough translation of the rules:

  • Anyone in the video conference can participate, but it is voluntary. If someone does not want to play, he or she may take on the role of timekeeper and create screenshots. This role can also be done by someone who is playing. The decision is up to the team.
  • You have 60 seconds to work as a team, using body language and hand signals to write as many words as possible.
  • One letter per camera image: Write words with the number of letters corresponding to the number of participants. Every correct picture is 1 point.
  • Do not count words with misplaced or mirrored letters.


How would a remote game like this fit into your lean training? 

While I haven't personally tried the game, I feel like it would work well for PDCA or Improvement Kata training. The quick iterations of the 4 rounds simulates a multiple PDCA cycles. The team has a very limited time to plan and think about how to organize for the next round. But as the participants get comfortable with reading body language and where they are positioned on the screen, the results will improve. 
If you were training Standardized Work, you could decide to lengthen the time between rounds and draft work instructions to follow for subsequent rounds. Maybe a job aid of different hand signals, for example.

The game is fast and fun, and would provide a welcome break after staring at the screen for a lengthy  training session.


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